Insurance requirements to having to prepay the entire premium. My insurance lapsed in september of 2012 and on january 15 2013 i was involved in a collision and ticketed for careless driving, suspended license, expired tag and was given a court date for the financial responsibility (felony). What penalties am i facing? Will this include jail time?
Its difficult to say exactly what you are facing. There are a lot of variables that have to be taken into account. Typically the careless driving charge is not a criminal offense so there will be no jail time imposed on that count. The suspended license can be anywhere from a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail to a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The degree of the suspended license charge depends upon a number of variables that we don't know.
You should hire a local criminal defense attorney ASAP. If you can't afford an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you. I understand the fear of the unknown, especially when you could potentially go to jail; however, once your attorney meets with you and reviews the necessary discovery, he will be in the best possible position to answer your questions.
Christopher Scott Ison, Esq - 863.683.7500 - WWW.PANSLER.COM - These answers are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. These answer are not intended as legal advice either. If you would like legal advice as to your specific issue, you should contact an attorney to represent and/or advise you. If you are interested in retaining my office for legal advice and/or representation, please contact my office for a free initial consultation.
DUI / DWI Attorney
I agree with the previous answer. As far as jail time that depends on your jurisdiction, judge and prosecutor. In my area we typically see the state request jail on driving with a DUI or drug suspension and we typically do not see jail sentences on financial suspensions. Although this is not a rule and just because the state requests it doesn't mean they will get it. You have jail exposure and with a DUI conviction this would be at least a second strike toward a 5 year HTO suspension. I recommend you hire a local misdemeanor traffic attorney in your area.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with what the other Lawyers have written in response to your question. I’d just like to add that you should be on the lookout for the 2011 DUI suspension. For example, if the suspension was a 6 month DUI suspension and you were charged with Driving with a Suspended License (“DWLS”) outside of the 6 month period, any penalties for the DWLS may not be as harsh if you’ve complied with any DUI requirements for reinstating your license. I would highly recommend a DUI / Traffic Attorney to assist you with your case.
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While you certainly face the possibility of jail time, there is not enough information to make that either a certainty or a non-issue. The current status of your 2011 DUI/probation/suspension is an important factor, of course. The ability to pay restitution may be another. And there are many others that need to be considered. An attorney would need to go over your history and see how that may affect the current charges and then offer a path, or paths, forward.
It's possible that a private attorney would be best in this case as the civil citations/issues are not areas in which assigned counsel usually practice, and so a more complete approach may best be left for private counsel experienced in this area.
I offer free consultations and handle these types of issues daily. Good luck.
The above is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice nor makes you a client of the Mosca Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a lawyer in order to obtain confidential legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation and facts.